Kansas City construction companies

Energy mindful Kansas City construction companies

What type of insulation is best for your ROI?

By Scott Hamele, DBIA President and founder of Construction DesignWorks, LLC and Nationwide Commercial Inspections, LLC

As a commercial real estate investor or property/asset manager, you may not think much about what type of insulation is best for your return on investment (ROI). Whether you are involved in the design of a new building or interior tenant construction, there are numerous Kansas City construction companies to choose from. However, one that has a design background or even better, a design-build contractor that is energy mindful, will save you money in the long run.

There is no question that there are multiple options when choosing insulation for your exterior walls. However, no single construction material can impact your bottom dollar more than this product selection. Air infiltration from the outside can affect up to 40 percent of the energy loss of a building. This energy loss will result in unnecessarily high energy bills. Most architects still specify the use of fiberglass (batts or rolls) insulation because of the low cost of materials and installation. Below are the estimated costs and R-values associated with different types of insulation.

Kansas City construction companies look at R-value

R-value can be defined as the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow through a certain thickness of material. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power and the greater the heat flow resistance. The chart below from fixr.com illustrates different R-values based on the insulation type.

Insulation type R-value and thickness Cost
Batts or rolls R-11, 3½-inch thick
R-13, 3⅝-inch thick
R-19, 6¼-inch thick
R-30, 9½-inch thick
R-38, 12-inch thick
R-11: $0.12-$0.16 per sq.ft.
R-13: $0.15-$0.20 per sq.ft.
R-19: $0.27-$0.34 per sq.ft.
R-30: $0.39-$0.47 per sq.ft.
R-38: $0.55-$0.60 per sq.ft.
Foam Board R-3, ½-inch thick
R-7.5, 1½-inch thick
R-16, 4-inch thick
½-inch thick: $0.28-$0.38 per sq.ft.
1½-inch thick: $0.60-$0.80 per sq.ft.
4 inch thick: $3.50-$4.50 per sq.ft.
Loose Fill/Blown-In R-20, 6 inches deep
R-31, 9 inches deep
R-42, 12 inches deep
R-20: $0.65-$0.80 per sq.ft.
R-31: $0.85-$1.10 per sq.ft.
R-42: $1.25-$1.45 per sq.ft.
Spray Foam R-22.4, 3½-inch thick
R-38.4, 6-inch thick
R-57.6, 9-inch thick
R-76.8, 12-inch thick
R-22.4: $0.44-$0.65 per sq.ft.
R-38.4:  $0.65-$0.80 per sq.ft.
R-57.6:  $0.80-$1.00 per sq.ft.
R-76.8: $1.00-$1.20 per sq.ft.
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) R-16, 4½-inch thick
R-24, 6½-inch thick
R-32, 8¼-inch thick
R-40, 10¼-inch thick
R-48, 12-inch thick
R-16: $5.08 per sq.ft.
R-24: $5.52 per sq.ft.
R-32: $5.98 per sq.ft.
R-40: $6.43 per sq.ft.
R-48: $6.87 per sq.ft.

Kansas City construction companies look to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program for guidelines. The EPA estimates that by adding insulation and sealing air leaks, you could save up to 20 percent on your monthly energy bills. Spray foam offers the most value and return on investment of all the options above. The use of spray foam not only reduces energy costs due to reduction in air infiltration and increases R-value, but will also affect the size of the HVAC system. In some cases, HVAC sizing can be reduced up to 35 percent without the loss of comfort or efficiency.

Using a typical 6-inch exterior wall cavity, the use of spray foam will increase the R-value by 19.4. Using a 10,000 square foot building with 14-foot-high walls, the cost increase is approximately $4,000 to $5,000 including installation. The owner can recoup the initial increase in labor and materials in less than 3 or 4 years, based on the lower energy bills. The increased cost of insulation can also be offset by a smaller HVAC system.

Choosing one of the energy mindful Kansas City construction companies will enable you to make educated and informed decisions on the initial design and can increase profits for years and years to come.

About Construction DesignWorks, LLC

Construction DesignWorks uses its hands-on approach and design and construction expertise to create and develop a winning design-build team that is specialized for each customer. Their complete turnkey building solutions align with the unique business needs of various types of real estate. Construction DesignWorks, LLC is located at 6657 Woodland Drive in Shawnee, Kansas. If you are looking at Kansas City construction companies or for more information about interior design-build, call (913) 745-4727 or visit their website https://constructiondesignworks.com.